After the First World War and into the ’20s, many car manufacturers throughout Europe became involved in Grand Prix racing. They believed that advertising, prestige and development were in their interest and they were right. Demand for the motorcar began to increase. Most of these companies ran “Works Teams.” They employed the people who they believed to be the winning drivers, designers and engineers. Of the drivers, some were so-called “professionals,” selling, demonstrating and developing cars, while there were others who were well able to afford to pay for their own motorsport activities. It was this that fueled the careers from the ’20s into the ’30s of the great drivers. Antonio Ascari, Caracciola, Farina, Nuvolari and Varzi were just a few of the great names whose association and success with, say one Type 35 Bugatti over another similar car, increased that particular car’s value. It assisted the market and specific demand for the model. Stardom has continued to attract sales even in the present day—an ex-Fangio, Moss, Senna, Prost or Brabham car is always worth a few bucks more!
When the ’20s drew to a close, changes in the economic conditions resulted in the cost of designing, building and financing racing teams becoming very expensive. The increasing demand for road cars by the population as a whole, found many of the manufacturers stepping back from competition to concentrate on selling to this increasing market. When they did so, some sold their cars and walked away, others dismantled or stored their cars, but there were manufacturers who were so involved in the sport that they continued to build cars for racing. Bugatti had enjoyed tremendous success throughout the ’20s, as had Maserati, so they led the way to a certain extent and were happy to sell cars to well-heeled drivers. Another manufacturer, Alfa Romeo, continued producing racing and sports cars, but set about organizing their own marketing. Alfa built cars and sold some of them off directly, but spearheaded their entries, sales and racing organization through a deal with a chap named Enzo Ferrari.
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